Power, collected from an integrated or external solar cell, can provide energy to a light, heating system or fountain on the bird bath.
The most common construction involves a fountain with solar lighting or heating being added as external parts.
The history of solar fountain bird baths is undocumented, but we can assume that environmentally conscious bird watchers wanted a way to keep their bird baths cleaner without needing to install electrical pumps into the baths.
How Solar Power Birdbaths Work
The solar power collected is just enough to push water through an included fountain. The fountain will spout water from the top, thus keeping the water cleaner and increasing the appeal to surrounding birds.
The units can be created with one or more tiers. The top tier will house the fountain and the solar cell, in most cases. Some solar bird bath styles include an extension wire and an external solar cell that can be driven into the ground on a stake.
These cells allow the bird bath to be placed in the shade while the solar cell continues to collect the direct sunlight for power.
Prices for Solar Bird Bath Fountains
Prices for these environmentally friendly outdoor solar fountains start at about $125. Depending on the size of the bath, number of tiers and materials from which the bath is made, the price can rise to much higher amounts.
Most of the cost pays for the solar cell and conversion unit used to capture and convert the sun's energy.
There are no moving parts on most units, but that does not mean maintenance is not required. As is the case with any standing water unit, debris can collect in the water and obscure the sun from reaching the solar cell. Algae can also cause a reduction in energy production. Water should be treated with anti-algae agents and changed frequently.
Drawbacks of Solar Fountain Bird Baths
Some people who have purchased solar bird baths have found that the pump or other parts of the design like the bowl or the pedestal are fragile and break easily.
Consumers have claimed difficulty getting the fountains to work on some popular solar birdbath models. The claims focus on the need for direct sunlight at all times for the fountain to work.
This is not a design flaw. The solar cell unit that provides power to the fountain is not created to store energy. The solar energy used to power the fountain is dependent on the sunlight at that given moment.
Environmental Impact of Solar Power Birdbaths
Compared to electrical versions, there is no environmental impact from a solar unit. Most often, the baths come completely assembled and a stake is the only part that needs to be installed into the Earth.
While the stake could, theoretically, cause some impact, the impact is miniscule at most. Production of the bath, however, does have an impact on the environment. In order to minimize this effect, the consumer may choose to research the manufacturing practices of the business before choosing to buy a certain brand of bath.
Tips for Choosing a Solar Bird Bath
First, be sure to find a style of solar fountain birdbath that you like. Next, check the guarantee and return policy that the merchant offers in case it doesn't work properly.
Also check any re-stocking fees that the company may require for returns.
Find out how the bird bath is cleaned, and any maintenance you may need to perform for the solar panel.
If you are looking at a bird bath in your local store, examine it carefully for any chips, cracks or signs of damage. Check the motor and the pump. If possible, try to see one "in action" so you get an idea of how it works.
Where to Find Solar Birdbaths
Depending on where you live, you may be able to find solar power birdbaths at your local garden supply store. If their staff is knowledgeable about solar energy and how it works, they may be a good place to find one.
You can also find some attractive options online, expecially those that are sold by solar energy experts who know all the ins and outs of how to choose solar fountains and solar birdbaths that will work reliably and for the long term.
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